books

Leah Cowan reviews a book that systematically unpicks the myths that are spread in order to preserve the status quo.

The red and green shelf is overflowing! Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at nine important new books address topics ranging from ecosocialism and rising seas to trees, growth and global poverty.

Considering the terrors that Mikhail Sholokhov lived through and nearly perished from in Stalinist Russia, it is a wonder that the Soviet novelist retained any sense of humour. Yet he did.

Margaret Atwood's 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel The Testaments is her response to the question of readers of The Handmaid's Tale: how did Gilead fall? She's had 35 years to come up with the answer, and she doesn't disappoint.

Donald Duck helping stop a revolution

How to Read Donald Duck
By Ariel Dorfman & Armand Mattelart, translated by David Kunzle
Pluto Press, 2019 
192 pp, $17.00

Today, as the streets of Chile burn with rebellion, it is timely to look back on this book, which was burned by the military during the 1973 overthrow of the socialist Salvador Allende presidency.

"Art is a weapon in the People's fight" declared an advert for a 1940 production of the play Women by the left-wing Workers Art Guild (WAG) that was active in Perth from 1935 to 1942.

Losing Santhia: Life & Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
By Ben Hillier
Interventions, 2019
150 pages

In 2009, the Sri Lankan military launched a genocidal offensive against the island's Tamil population on a stretch of sand in Mullivaikal, in the island's north-east.

Claiming its offensive was to rescue civilians, the Sri Lankan military carried out an indiscriminate bombing offensive against Tamil civilians that killed tens of thousands.

After centuries under the yoke of English rule, Irish nationalists staged failed uprisings against British rule in 1798, 1803 and 1848. By 1858, Irish freedom fighters formed the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Known as the Fenians, they recruited among Irish soldiers in the British army to overthrow the British authorities.

However by 1867, the Fenian rising was crushed and dozens of their members sentenced to up 15 years in the British penal colony of Western Australia. Once there, they sent to Fremantle Gaol. Known as the "Convict Establishment" or the "Living Tomb", and built by convict labour in the 1850s, the men were subjected to a brutal regime of forced labour and floggings.

Women’s health and chronic pain has been ignored throughout medical history, writes Gabrielle Jackson. Pain, and more specifically, pelvic pain has been seen as an intrinsic part of womanhood.

This book is effectively a sequel to Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare at Goats, which inspired an hilarious film of the same name. That book exposed the US military's serious experimentation with all sorts of weird and whacky, New Age, mind-altering techniques to produce better killers.

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